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Beyond the CEFR: Towards Standardization of Language Competence Recognition in Europe


The creation of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) has evidenced the need for the development of language policies at universities. University-based language centres have made a great contribution to the development of language learning since their emergence and have played a major role in the development and implementation of language policies and language education. In addition to teaching and training Language Centres have another important function as university students are now required to prove their language competence at different stages during their university studies for mobility, graduating, entrance to master programmes, etc., as well as for better job opportunities in the international market. This new function of language centres can be defined as the need for the development of more reliable systems for the accreditation or certification of language competence which will provide a basis for comparability of levels of assessment at European level. As a consequence, national language associations throughout Europe are immersed in a process for the design of a common model for the accreditation of language competence in higher education institutions that allows for comparability in achievement across languages and institutions, but which at the same time, allows for degrees of variation and the possibility to reflect the specific needs and aims of the different institutions. In the present work we describe the evolution of the accreditation process in Europe, with special attention to the model developed by the Spanish Association of Higher Education Language Centres (ACLES).
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... Asunción Jaime Pastor menegaskan bahwa Pembentukan European Higher Education Area (EHEA) telah membuktikan perlunya pengembangan kebijakan bahasa di tingkat universitas. Pusat bahasa berbasis universitas telah memberikan kontribusi besar bagi pengembangan pembelajaran bahasa sejak kemunculannya dan telah memainkan peran utama dalam pengembangan dan implementasi kebijakan bahasa dan pendidikan bahasa (Pastor & Guillot, 2015). Hal ini menunjukkan bahwa upaya pengembangan pendidikan bahasa berbasis standar CEFR penting untuk terus dilakukan pada tingkat pendidikan tinggi. ...
This study aims to develop a CEFR-based model of teaching materials for Kitâbah Muqayyadah and integrated 21st century skills. This research was conducted with a development research approach that started with situation analysis, needs analysis, and the development of learning model design concepts. Based on the results of the situation analysis and needs analysis, the development of a model of Kitâbah Muqayyadah teaching materials based on CEFR and integrated 21st century skills are very much needed. The concept of developing a teaching material model is based on a literature review that produces eight 21st century skills. Meanwhile, the ordering model of the Kitâbah Muqayyadah teaching material, which is a writing skill for beginners, is arranged in eight sequences of material starting from the level of compiling isolated sentences to composing image-assisted discourse. In combining or integrating eight 21st century skills in eight sequences of material, teachers can adapt the learning methods to be applied while considering the objectives of each meeting.
... We believe that the CCMEn model can be adapted to other educational backgrounds and can potentially contribute to improving teaching and learning in multicultural and multilingual contexts. It must be taken into account that teaching and learning in a multicultural (and, frequently, also multilingual) environment has become a reality in the European higher education context as a result of the implementation of policies such as the Bologna declaration and the internationalisation of European curricula [44], which encourages both teachers and students to engage in academic exchanges and placements abroad. ...
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Background: Within the European higher education context, students and lecturers are encouraged to engage in teaching and learning activities abroad. This frequently involves using a second language and being exposed to students and lecturers from culturally different backgrounds. Objective: To design a model for teaching and learning cultural competence in a multicultural environment (CCMEn). Design: Theory development from empirical experience, research, and scholarly works. Method: This model was developed based on our experience of teaching and learning cultural competence in a multicultural environment in a nursing education context; it rests on three pillars, namely, Coyle's Content and Language Integrated Learning educational approach, the concept of social and emotional learning, as defined by the Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning, and the existing literature surrounding teaching and learning cultural competence in higher education. Results: The CCMEn model is intended to guide the process of teaching and learning cultural competence in a multicultural environment through the use of a second language and has been adapted from existing educational approaches and theory. Conclusion: Teaching and learning in multilingual and multicultural contexts in Europe is becoming more common. Students who learn alongside students and teachers from different cultural backgrounds need to be supported from an academic, linguistic and socioemotional perspective. We believe that the CCMEn model can serve as a guide to enhancing student learning in this context.
Conference Paper
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The reliability of direct testing of writing has been a concern since the 19th century (Edgeworth 1890). Although variability in rating writing is an inextricable part of the process inherent to its subjectivity, random variability can lead to casualization of marker consistency (Barrett, 1999) and have devastating consequences for students. Training teachers to score scripts is presented in the literature error as the solution to reduce rater error while respecting the individuality of both the rater, the student and the task at hand. However, although some authors recommend an entire rater training day and cyclic training sessions. The training duration is generally limited. Online training modules are presented as the solution to lack of time and resources on the part of teachers and institutions. Consequently, an online training module was designed based on the guidelines given by Weigle (2002) to improve both inter and intra rater reliability as well as to reduce rater errors
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The recent political, social and economic changes in Europe have had a great impact on higher education, in particular with regard to foreign language teaching at universities. This has resulted in an increased need for foreign language teaching at universities especially among non-philological studies. The expansion of new language centres has been a step forward in meeting the challenges of the Bologna Process and the emerging multilingual Europe. Language centres play an important role in second language learning especially in teaching foreign languages for specific purposes. However, they have not always been on equal terms with modern language departments and other non-linguistic departments. Language centre staff are often treated with mistrust, and misconception of their work is not uncommon. Several changes need to occur to improve the status of language centres. Firstly, the teaching staff should take more initiatives in researchwhich would ensure a better standing and a more adequate status within the higher education institution they operate in. Furthermore, universities should develop language policies to promote foreign language learning according to the European Council recommendations. This would contribute to a more harmonious cooperation between language centres and other departments at universities.
The standardization of second language proficiency levels for university students in Germany is discussed. Problems with the current system, in which each university has developed its own program of study and proficiency certification, are examined and a framework for development of a unified language certificate for all universities is outlined. Major features of the proposal include the following: (1) independent language programs taught by professional language teachers, on normal contracts, within university language schools or departments; (2) qualifications at three levels of achievement, equivalent to three successive stages of instruction of about 150 instructional hours each; (3) languages-for-special-purposes options of about 80 instructional hours at the third (highest) level; and (4) certification at levels one and two based on course completion, and certification at level three by separate oral and written examinations. Each of these features is examined in greater detail. The status of the proposal in the process of national acceptance among institutions is noted briefly. (MSE)
Expansion in the demand for language learning in the second half of the twentieth century is one of the main reasons for the growth of language centres in higher education. This article considers the past, present and future of language centres focussing on the challenges which confront them as they go forward. A brief review of language centres shows that qualities of pedagogic innovation, institutional adaptability and effective use of technology have contributed to their successful development to date. Success can be measured both in terms of growing numbers and outreach as language centres expand across almost all European states. However, changes in university structures and demands for language teaching continue to accelerate. Continuing success requires action and progress in key areas. These include enhancing the research profile of language centres, continuing to innovate pedagogically and organisationally and securing adequate resources. Two exemplars of successful language centre initiatives are cited: language testing and the use of the European Language Portfolio.
Language Centres: The promotion of quality in language learning
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Aub-Buscher, G. & Bickerton, D. (2002). CercleS: The first decade 1991-2000. In M. Ruane, G. Meijers (eds.). Language Centres: The promotion of quality in language learning (pp.205-216). Dublin: CercleS.
CertAcles Modelo de acreditación de exámenes de ACLES. Salamanca: Ediciones Digitales Integradas S
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The Future of Global English
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